In a national clinical trial, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are going to explore whether brain bypass surgery can prevent stroke.

The National Institute for Neurological Disorder and Stroke has awarded UNC a $19.9 million grant over five years to fund the study.

William Powers, chair of neurology at UNC, will lead the study. It will include patients at 41 medical centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Researchers will explore whether a branch of an artery that supplies blood to the scalp can be used to bypass blockages in a major neck artery that supplies blood to the brain.